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The Universe is Only Pretending, Physicist Says
Like a Hologram, the Universe Merely Appears to Have Three Spatial Dimensions, Scientists Infer

By ALEXANDRA L. WOODRUFF
Contributing Writer
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
In quantum physics, nothing is as it seems. As physicists continue to study the universe they continually run into new questions that shake how humans understand the universe's intricate mechanics.
UC Berkeley physics professor, Raphael Bousso, is trying to break down the mysteries of the universe with a concept called the holographic principle. Physicists stumbled on the idea while studying black holes. It is a concept, which ultimately questions whether the third dimension exists.

"There's a real conflict between the way that we're thinking about the world right now, which is a very local way where everything happens independently in different regions of space and the way that we're going to have to think about it," said Bousso in an interview.

Bousso presented the ideas at a seminar last weekend called "Latest Theories About the Universe and Its Governing Laws: Theoretical Physics Made Easy for the Public" at the Lawrence Hall of Science to an audience of about 100.

The holographic principle uses the optical concept of holograms to try to visually explain the complex idea. Holograms are most often used on credit cards and are images that look three dimensional, but they exist on a two dimensional surface.

"You have to keep in mind that we're just using that name as a sort of metaphor for something that we're specifying quite precisely when we're talking about how much information there is relative to certain areas," he said.

A computer chip is a good way to visualize the principle. The chip has information stored on it in the form of data, but this isn't the information Bousso is talking about. Information in the holographic principle means the entire collection of matter the chip is made of.

"One way of quantifying the complexity of matter is to ask how many different states can it be in? How many things can you wiggle in? How many different ways?" Bousso said.

It would seem logical that if you doubled the size of the chip, then you could store twice as much information on the chip.

"What we've found is that it appears that gravity conspires against that when you really try to store a lot of information in a special region, then once you double that region you can't store twice as much anymore," Bousso said.

In other words, if you have a bunch of grapes in the fridge and have all the information including water content, temperature and anything else, you should be able to create an exact replica of the grapes.

Physicists have found the information content doesn't hinge on volume, but rather on surface area. An information increase can only happen on a two-dimensional surface and information density cannot increase by volume, a three-dimensional measurement.

"The total amount of information that you can store in the world grows only like the surface area of the region that you're considering," he said.

The discovery ultimately says the concept shows the third dimension could be an illusion because complex calculations can't prove it exists. The recognition is a step of progress, but Bousso doesn't know where it will ultimately lead.

"It may be a major step, it may just be one piece in a very big puzzle, but I think it's definitely progress towards that goal," he said.

Although there is practical way to use these principles right now, Bousso said he and fellow physicists are driven to understand nature at the most fundamental level.

Albert Einstein didn't have any practical applications for his theory of relativity when he first discovered it, but now the concept is woven into today's technology with things like global positioning systems, he said.

"It happens to be true that sooner or later these types of progress have not just had practical applications, but they really underlie almost everything that we can do technologically today," Bousso said.

Ultimately, the physicist wants to find the origins and the implications of the holographic principle.

He said the principle has given insight into physics concepts that scientists have understood for years.

"It gives us a preview of some of the unifications and the explanatory power that the quantum gravity we're seeking is going to have," Bousso said.

So, how then, does one explain...Buckaroo Bonzai and his adventures across the 8th dimension? :confused: :p :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Soooo, what are you saying?:p :googly:
 

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So, I guess I'll be the first one to declare that this guy's a @#$%ing moron. I understand where he's trying to go, but he won't get there.

"Physicists have found the information content doesn't hinge on volume, but rather on surface area."

"An information increase can only happen on a two-dimensional surface and information density cannot increase by volume, a three-dimensional measurement."

False. There's no such thing as a two-dimensional surface. I challenge any physicist to find one. They can't, because "two-dimensional" describes a theoretical object having literally no depth, and thus, no mass. Real objects, however, are composed of atoms. Atoms are matter, having mass, volume, and thus depth. Like many physicists, these scientists neglect chemistry's crucial role in the universe.

The only exception to the above ideas may be space itself, which has mass but hasn't been demonstrated to have a chemical composition, as far as I know. But frequently affected by gravity, even space is not a flat surface.

"The total amount of information that you can store in the world grows only like the surface area of the region that you're considering."

A seemingly practical thought with no absolute value. If the Earth crashed into Jupiter, and the two were intact and touching, would Earth be stored in Jupiter? Or would Jupiter be stored in Earth? If you answer the former, it's because you're not thinking scientifically -- you're thinking socially, swayed by the intangible magnitude people associate with physical size.

But there is no correct answer, because absolutely, there's no such thing as storing matter on a surface. It's simply an easily digested notion we use to understand and convey our relationship with the planet, and the relationships between small objects and large ones. But none of us are really "in" or "on" Earth, anymore than it is in or on us.

Likewise, "surface area" is just a crude phrase describing the part of an object we can see. It has no real scientific value, nor is it absolutely quantifiable. Conclusively, the amout of information I can store in my shoe, on my desk, or in my world, means nothing in the grandiose scheme of the universe.
 

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CharlieM said:
So, I guess I'll be the first one to declare that this guy's a @#$%ing moron. I understand where he's trying to go, but he won't get there.

"Physicists have found the information content doesn't hinge on volume, but rather on surface area."

"An information increase can only happen on a two-dimensional surface and information density cannot increase by volume, a three-dimensional measurement."

False. There's no such thing as a two-dimensional surface. I challenge any physicist to find one. They can't, because "two-dimensional" describes a theoretical object having literally no depth, and thus, no mass. Real objects, however, are composed of atoms. Atoms are matter, having mass, volume, and thus depth. Like many physicists, these scientists neglect chemistry's crucial role in the universe.

The only exception to the above ideas may be space itself, which has mass but hasn't been demonstrated to have a chemical composition, as far as I know. But frequently affected by gravity, even space is not a flat surface.

"The total amount of information that you can store in the world grows only like the surface area of the region that you're considering."

A seemingly practical thought with no absolute value. If the Earth crashed into Jupiter, and the two were intact and touching, would Earth be stored in Jupiter? Or would Jupiter be stored in Earth? If you answer the former, it's because you're not thinking scientifically -- you're thinking socially, swayed by the intangible magnitude people associate with physical size.

But there is no correct answer, because absolutely, there's no such thing as storing matter on a surface. It's simply an easily digested notion we use to understand and convey our relationship with the planet, and the relationships between small objects and large ones. But none of us are really "in" or "on" Earth, anymore than it is in or on us.

Likewise, "surface area" is just a crude phrase describing the part of an object we can see. It has no real scientific value, nor is it absolutely quantifiable. Conclusively, the amout of information I can store in my shoe, on my desk, or in my world, means nothing in the grandiose scheme of the universe.
They're trying to say that mass (3 dimensions) is an illusion. You can't discount one illusion by comaparing it with itself!
 

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"They're trying to say that mass (3 dimensions) is an illusion."

Of course I understand that. And likewise, I can theorize that the sky is actually perpetually orange. But until I offer the slightest logical justification of that theory, I am officially stupid.

"You can't discount one illusion by comaparing it with itself!"

My point is that the second dimension is the illusion. The first two dimensions can't exist in reality for chemical reasons: an infinitely small object (such as a single point in space, or a plane) is merely science fiction, because no real object can be smaller than the smallest possible particle of matter, whether that's an electron, quark, neutrino, etc. And even the smallest possible particle of matter still has mass -- a concept negated by the second dimension.

The first two dimensions are purely theoretical, existing only as geometry that helps us better grasp mathematics, and that we use practically in certain industries. Geometry has no absolute application to reality. Circles, lines, squares, triangles, etc...these are all "man made" shapes that nature can only simulate. That's right -- there's no such thing as a circle. Here's why.

Ever look at a circle drawn on a computer (for instance, in CAD)? It comprises tiny increments -- segments -- which simulate a circle. The more segments you use, the smaller the segments are, and the smoother the "circle" appears. In reality, a circle would also be made of increments -- atoms. Although atoms are much tinier increments than a computer could render, they're still increments, preventing the shape from exhibiting the infinite smoothness that defines a real circle.

Thus, for any real object to be infinitely smooth, it must be composed of infinitely small particles, counterbalanced by an infinitely large value of Pi. Because even the smallest particles contain mass and volume, this is impossible, and it explains why no one can deduce Pi's value. If someone ever does, it will be the key to discovering the size of the smallest possible particle in existence. And it will immediately disprove the existence of curves, and ultimately invalidate all of geometry's manifestation in reality. And logically, the reason a curve can't be infinitely smooth is the same reason a surface can't be infinitely thin.

So, back to dimensions in general. I feel that they're all rubbish -- artificial concepts to help us understand the universe. The fourth dimension is laughable, and the fifth is...strange. Even the third dimension is an idea so obvious, inevitable, and synonymous with existence itself, that it needs no description outside of industrial applications.

Lastly, this atrocious excuse for a scientist contradicts himself by referencing gravity. The second dimension defies gravity. And the only way the universe could exist two dimensionally, is if none of us ever actually saw, heard, felt, tasted or smelled anything, and we communicated with and experienced the universe solely through internally produced hallucinations. Basically...The Matrix sans the real world. And who the dick knows? Maybe that's true. But it's not what this guy's proposing. Besides, this scenario entails an immense psychological element probably beyond this guy's expertise.

Of course, I suppose it is possible (though unlikely) that his ideas are actually worthwhile, and they've just been misrepresented by a poor command of English.

"And your world, is a very large, very bizarre place."

Ha ha. If you only knew the truth, comrade...The thing's I've been up to since Seavey would turn a white man black, and a black man...blacker.

Irrelevantly, what the hell does <3 mean?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Charlie, I don't know if you've seen it yet, but if you haven't, you must check out a movie called "What the @!##$" . Pronounced What the Bleep, but spelt like an old comic book swear.
 

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And, the question remains:
How does one explain Buckaroo Bonzai, and his amazing adventures across the eight dimension?
 
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